Another night, another hairy situation for Tasha as the plot throws a curve ball of furry proportions. She has a more deadly run-in with the gang and comes out only by the skin of her teeth, or rather, someone else’s long, pointy teeth. Her hero has returned, larger than life and twice as unbelievable. She learns his secret and has to decide who to trust.
Can her humor keep her sanity, or will her jokes run out just when she needs a good laugh?
The sun was setting when I returned to my apartment after my long talk with Greg, and I flicked on the lights so I wouldn’t stumble into any furniture. The coffee table had a grudge against me for spilling coffee on it and sometimes it moved so I’d trip and kill myself over it if I wasn’t careful. My long day of rest was exhausting, and I flopped down into my chair with a deep, weary sigh. “All this conspiring is hard,” I whined to my empty apartment.
Only I didn’t know it wasn’t empty.
When I’d gotten really comfortable my stomach decided that was the perfect time to growl with hunger. That reminded me that I hadn’t had much to eat that day, not with the whole being-threatened-by-a-thug, another interview with the corrupt police, and plotting possibly the end of me with Greg. Greg. I leaned back my head and sighed. Things were getting heavy between us, and not because I was gaining more weight.
He was a nice guy, sure, and definitely brave in helping me out, but I just wasn’t sure I was that into him. I would have placed him in my friend-zone rather than my boyfriend-zone.
Another gurgle from my stomach. It was getting more demanding than my boss. I sighed, and hefted my lard butt over to the kitchen. That was located off the hall that led into the bed and bathrooms. I was rummaging through the cupboards searching for my prey when I heard a creaking noise at the rear of the apartment. I froze and whipped my head around to the backrooms. Everything was quiet, but I felt it was a calm before the storm.
I grabbed the closest weapon within reach, a box of elbow macaroni, and crept over to the hallway. The bedroom and bath lay around the corner, and when I peeked around I smacked my head into something hard. It wasn’t the wall, though it felt hard enough. It was a large guy’s forehead, and he wasn’t very happy with my knucklehead greeting. He wore a dark coat like Servino and there was a green bandanna wrapped around his head. His height towered over mine, and his ripped muscles bulged out from beneath his clothing. His large arms swung to grab me, and I screamed and shoved the cardboard box into his face. The wimpy sides exploded in a hail of uncooked chaos as macaroni flew into every crevice of his face. With macaroni sticking out from his nose, eyes and mouth it changed him into this hideous pasta monster, which was an improvement over his normal look.
The man wiped off the macaroni while I dashed toward the door. He chased and caught me around the waist two feet from freedom, and clamped a large, rough hand over my mouth. I was dragged away from the threshold back toward my couch and the windows overlooking the alley. I dug my feet into the crappy carpet and my heels caught on the decades of grime and dirt. That jerked us to a stop, and I sucked in my gut and dove down out of his clutches like a stick of soft butter. I ran to the door and grabbed the knob, but he slammed into me and prevented me from opening the door.
“Help!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Somebody help me!”
The intruder grabbed me and tossed me back toward the windows. I fell and scrambled backwards on my hands and feet as he locked the door and menacingly stalked toward me. That’s when things got a bit hairy, literally. Something large crashed through the windows at my back and landed with a thud beside me. My head snapped up to the wolf thing, which was as good a description as I could give considering my brain was screaming like a little girl.
The wolf thing stood on two legs with thick, long hair like a girl who hadn’t shaved in four days. Bent over as it was its arms dragged the ground and ended in hands that had long, sharp claws. Its body was covered in the fluffy, long fur and through that thick stuff I could see it wore a pair of shredded jeans. It had wide shoulders, and its face protruded out like a long snout filled with razor-sharp teeth. There was a pair of fuzzy ears atop its head, and it had a pair of familiar yellow eyes.
“What the hell?” was the intruder’s brilliant comment on the beast. The man stumbled back toward the door to escape, but the beast snarled and leapt at him. The creature landed in front of the guy, a straight jump of a dozen feet, and grabbed him by the throat. It tossed the man over the furniture and against the exterior wall between the windows. The man blubbered and pressed himself against the wall as the creature stalked up to him. “Don’t hurt me!” the intruder screeched. “Please don’t hurt me!”
The beast thing hurt him, and pretty bad. The creature lifted the man up by his collar and tossed him out the broken windows. The man screamed and clawed at the air before he disappeared over the sill and down into the alley. I heard a hard thump when he hit the ground, and then silence. Well, except for the breathing hulk of fur and muscle that stood at the window. The creature turned to me and I let out a tiny squeak. It tromped towards me and I scrambled back along my hands and butt until I hit the side of the couch. The thing hunched over me and leaned its head down to give me a good sniff. I turned my head away and tried not to loose my bowels into the bowels of my underwear.
It raised one of its sharp claws and gently brushed the long nail against my cheek. Even with that soft touch my skin sliced open and I realized if this thing wanted to it could open me up like a can of tomato soup complete with chunks of chewy meat. “Y-you don’t want to eat me,” I pleaded with the creature. It pulled its hand away and tilted its head to one side. I took my not being immediately killed as a good sign. “I’m all fatty and high in cholesterol. All the fat in my feet would clog your arteries and kill you.”
The creature made this strange, deep echoing sound in its throat, and it took me a moment to realize it wasn’t a growl of imminent doom but a chuckle. The jokes were cut short when we heard voices out in the hall followed by a fist on my door. “Everyone okay in there?” Cartwright called out. I never thought I’d be glad to hear his voice.
I opened my mouth, but the beast clapped his hand over it. Its eyes swung to the door and his lips curled back in a snarl. I shuddered, not from the sound but from its awful breath. It must not have brushed its teeth after its last victim. Shoulders were put to my door and the hinges began to give way under the pressure. The creature grabbed me and slung me over its shoulder like a chubby boa just as the door broke open. One of its paws wrapped around me and settled noticeably on my butt.
I faced the windows so I could only hear the collective gasp from everyone in the doorway. Judging by the suction half the floor must have been there standing and gawking at the thing. The creature must have been shy because he turned tail and fled into the backrooms. I swung around on its shoulders and saw the gaping mouths of my fellow boarders, Miss Peabody included. She had a look on her face that was both terrified and overjoyed. “Werewolf!” she excitedly exclaimed.
I didn’t get to hear the replies of the other villagers before we disappeared into the bedroom. The creature took a hard right, reached the bedroom window and jumped out onto the fire escape. The rickety old thing shook and rattled at our combined weight, particularly mine, and I clutched onto its back.
“Not so hard,” it scolded.
“You talk?” I gasped.
“And wash windows, but don’t pull out any of my fur when I let you go.” That didn’t sound good.